Backstage before her show, designer Vivienne Tam
shared her knowledge of Chinese cosmology, the inspiration for her latest Spring collection. "It's about the five elements," she said. Metal, wood, water, fire, and earth, as they were listed in the show notes—all things that seem ill-suited for a fashion line. But it was the shapes and energies associated with those elements that Tam brought to the runway. There was a geometric twist to almost everything. Sheath dresses were layered with intricate octagonal cutwork, and other frocks, including a printed column gown, had hexagonal peplums. A classic trenchcoat, cropped gaucho pants, and a miniskirt also got the graphic cutout treatment. And the knits, the most commercial pieces in the range, were of the burnout variety.
All the looks were accented with jewelry from the first Vivienne Tam and TSL Fine Jewelry line. There were metal and wood necklaces, earrings, and rings, which matched the shapes that appeared on the clothes. At times, this looked a bit overdone. Tam had more success when she took her inspiration less literally. Model Ming Xi's black midriff-baring tank dress with a circle appliqué down the back was the collection's winner.